The organized Orthodox Jewish community in the U.S. has come out strongly in support of President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, Breaking Israel News reports.
DeVos is one of the nation's best-known school choice advocates, and implementing that policy would boost the affordability of charter or private schools, including those with a religious orientation.
Most Orthodox Jews consider private Jewish education a basic necessity for instilling their values in a secular world, but the cost puts them in serious financial pressure, especially since they often have large families.
Day school tuition can be $12,000 a year per child, with high school costs double that amount.
U.S. educational policy currently does not grant religious schools public funding due to the separation of church and state, but DeVos supports a plan by which federal money would go towards chartering independent schools and funding private school vouchers for less affluent students, including religious schools.
Nathan Diament of The Orthodox Union, the largest Orthodox Jewish organization in the United States, hailed the choice of DeVos to The Algemeiner, saying Trump's plan to change educational policy "has the potential to greatly assist the Jewish community with its affordability challenge."
He emphasized that school choice is the "number one kitchen-table domestic policy issue for the Orthodox community," and fulfills a campaign pledge by Trump that made him attractive to many Orthodox Jews.
The Yeshiva World published praise from another Orthodox group, Agudath Israel of America, which said "Agudath Israel has worked closely with Mrs. DeVos for many years, together with other organizations and legislators from both sides of the aisle, to give parents educational options for their children."
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